Tree house updates

I started a post about the treehouse but it’s not up to date. Since that one is so long as is really in the early stages, I wanted to start another one.

Despite not having the time I’d like to spend on it, it is going well. It is really ok that I don’t have time as I’m busy with work and kids and just living life.

I finally finished the roof. I’m not sure what order the roof is really done in a construction project. I had the assumption that once the sheeting was on it could just hang out like that for a while. But maybe the framing gets done then the entire roof gets done to keep everything inside dry. Not sure. Anyway. I’m just doing what makes sense. Platform first. Then floor. Stud walls, two of which (front and back) were built on the ground. Filled in the other side walls in place between front and back. Things were a little jibbly jubbly wiggly so I decided to do the siding plywood to stiffen things up. I sorta did the roof rafters along the same time to tie the front and back walls together and further stiffen.

I think it saw like that for a bit until I decided how to do the roof plywood – in two-foot strips. I couldn’t imagine how to get two 4 x 8 sheets of 1/2-inch plywood up onto the roof easily or safely. Ripping sheets in half was easy. I had bought some clips that go between the sheets of plywood. I assumed this was to provide a gap, which is necessary, but also to provide some stability between the edges. But the clips didn’t fit. They were probably exactly 1/2″, but the plywood was slightly larger. So I ditched the clips and used some blocking instead. Ideally I would have used two full 4 x 8 sheets because all the blocking was a good bit of work. But it was safe, anyway.

The next issue was I left the plywood exposed to a couple rain events. I just couldn’t get to it soon enough. I was concerned as the plywood was warping a bit, but was easy to push into place. After I got the blocking in along the seams it was easy to get everything very flat in order to apply the felt/tar paper to prep for shingles.

I had planned to get the tar paper up and leave it for a while. And if this was the case, everyone recommended plastic cap nails. It ended up that we have an entire week of great weather, so I was able to get the felt up and shingles down before any rain. It even got up to 80 the day I finished and the adhesive on the shingles was definitely ready to be sticky. I’m glad I got it done when it was warm.

Another thing I did was purchase some climbing gear to use as fall prevention. After I leaned the extension ladder up and tied it to the house with a ratchet strap, the ladder was very secure. I didn’t feel very secure up on the roof, though. It felt way up there. When I was installing solar power systems, I don’t remember having much problem being up on a roof. I don’t think most of them were this high, though. And I also didn’t have kids then. I researched this fall prevention / fall safety gear a lot. Initially I thought the full harness systems that seem to arrest a fall were the way to go. But they were expensive and only had one use. I never did really find someone specifically talking about climbing gear for roofing safety. But … it is really very similar to rappelling. Except you are just stationary and moving laterally. Then progressing up, but keeping yourself from falling down. I didn’t want to get into the gear that arrests your fall. I didn’t want to fall at all. Which is the goal in rock climbing. Or, for your fall to stop very quickly, which is fall prevention. Anyway. The basic rock climbing gear worked extremely well. I would definitely recommend it if you have a small job. Now I can take up rock climbing again … something I haven’t done since my teens, but have always been interested in doing.

I probably spend just over $200 on a harness/belay/rappel “kit” a couple carabiners, way too much rope and some short accessory cords. The rope was probably the toughest part. Search amazon brings up gobs of “climbing” rope, but most of it is static rope not meant for climbing. Climbers us “dynamic” rope which has some give to it in the event of a fall. Static rope doesn’t have this same give to it that is important.

Anyway. I enjoyed the roofing. I’ve not ever laid shingles but it was easier and quicker than I thought. I do like the look of these Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration shingles. We had them installed on our house in Teak and I asked the roofing company to save me a bundle.

For the most part, I went with this youtube video as instruction, along with many many minutes of perusing other outlets too (including Fine Homebuilding).